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LockMart Demonstrates New Launching System For Active Missile Decoys

ExLS enables the rapid deployment of completely assembled weapons and munitions, such as the Nulka, to augment traditional VLS missions and eliminate the need for separate topside launchers.
by Staff Writers
Baltimore MD (SPX) Aug 13, 2010
Lockheed Martin's new Extensible Launching System (ExLS) successfully conducted the first vertical launch of Nulka offboard countermeasure test rounds at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The flight test culminated three years of development and integration efforts to validate the ExLS architecture. It also demonstrated the new launcher in a fully tactical configuration.

ExLS is installed in an existing Vertical Launching System (VLS) cell, providing a common solution for integrating missiles with the MK 41 and MK 57 VLS. The Lockheed Martin team used a single solution, which reduced integration costs by more than 50 percent.

"ExLS is the latest example of our innovation and commitment to providing more affordable solutions for our customers," said Dan Schultz, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Ship and Aviation Systems.

"The testing support we received from Naval Sea Systems Command and the Naval Surface Warfare Center throughout this process was instrumental in our ultimate success. ExLS' snap-in design enables our customers to maximize the investment in their Vertical Launching Systems and realize significant integration savings."

ExLS enables the rapid deployment of completely assembled weapons and munitions, such as the Nulka, to augment traditional VLS missions and eliminate the need for separate topside launchers.

Lockheed Martin leveraged its nearly 30 years of experience with the combat proven MK 41 VLS and understanding of the MK 53 decoy launching systems to provide ExLS with the new capabilities and load-out flexibility needed by ships equipped with Vertical Launching Systems.

The ExLS test was conducted with testing support from the Naval Surface Warfare Centers at Dahlgren, Va. and Crane, Ind., as well as Nulka developer BAE Systems Australia.

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